Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was the victim in a police brutality case involving the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on March 3, 1991. A bystander, George Holliday, videotaped much of the incident from a distance.
The footage showed seven officers surrounding the solitary King, with several LAPD officers repeatedly striking a helpless King with their batons while the other officers stood by watching, without taking any action to stop the beating. A portion of this footage was aired by news agencies around the world, causing public outrage that increased tension between the local black community and the LAPD and increased anger over police brutality, racism and social inequalities in Los Angeles.
Four LAPD officers were later tried in a state court for the beating; three were acquitted and the jury failed to reach a verdict for the fourth. The announcement of the acquittals sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots. A later federal trial for civil rights violations ended with two of the officers found guilty and sent to prison and the other two officers acquitted.
After LA Riots
- In 1993, King entered an alcohol rehabilitation program and was placed on probation after crashing his vehicle into a block wall in downtown Los Angeles.
- In July 1995, he was arrested by Alhambra police, who alleged that he hit his wife with his car, knocking her to the ground. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of hit and run.
- On August 27, 2003, King was arrested for speeding and running a red light while under the influence of alcohol. He failed to yield to police officers and slammed his vehicle into a house, breaking his pelvis.
- On November 29, 2007, while riding home on his bicycle, King was shot in the face, arms, and back with pellets from a shotgun.
- In May 2008 King checked into the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California, which was filmed as part of the second season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
- On March 3, 2011, King was stopped by Los Angeles police for driving erratically. He was issued a citation for driving with an expired license.
- In February 2012, King was convicted in misdemeanor for reckless driving.
Death of Rodney King
On June 17, 2012, King’s fiancée, Cynthia Kelly, found him dead in his swimming pool. Rialto Police (California) received a 911 call from Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m. PST. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him, and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Rodney King as 47 years old at the time of his death.
*Kings fiancee Cyntia Kelly was juror #5 at King’s beating trial (1992)